Bukie Adebo

Principal, WomensVCFund

Bukie is an early-stage technology investor who focuses on cultivating and supporting diverse founders. As a former founder, she understands the barriers that keep people from building successful businesses and she works to help her founders overcome those barriers. Previously, Bukie was a Strategy and Operations Consultant at Deloitte Consulting and a Brand Strategy Director at Ogilvy Consulting.

Stephanie Benedetto

Co-Founder, Queen of Raw

Corporate attorney turned fashion tech and sustainability entrepreneur, Stephanie is the Co-Founder of Queen of Raw, a marketplace to buy and sell unused textiles, keeping them out of landfills and turning pollution into profit. Prior to starting Queen of Raw, Stephanie worked as a lawyer in the fashion, media/entertainment, startup, and technology industries and co-founded a sustainable textile manufacturing facility. An advocate for women in business and sustainability, her companies have been featured in NPR, Good Morning America, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, WWD, ELLE, Cheddar, Parade, WCBS, United Nations, Fortune, Entrepreneur, WIRED, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and Fast Company. Stephanie is a 2020 Inc. Female Founders 100, NASA/NIKE/IKEA/DELL LAUNCH.org Innovator, a Grand Prize WeWork Creator Awards Winner presented by Ashton Kutcher, a Cartier Women’s Initiative Laureate, an MIT Solve – Circular Economy Solver, a Climate Change Finalist in Mohammed bin Rashid Initiative for Global Prosperity, a Finalist for The Elevate Prize, a thredUP Circular Fashion Fund Recipient, and an LVMH Innovation Award Finalist. She is a Member of Pledge 1% and New York Circular City Initiative and Founding Member of Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network, along with Aveda, Kering, and Stella McCartney.

Sara T. Brand

Founding General Partner, True Wealth Ventures

Sara is the Founding General Partner of True Wealth Ventures, an early stage VC fund investing in women-led businesses in consumer health and sustainability sectors. She is also the co-founder of (512) Brewing, the largest draught-only, self-distributing microbrewery in the country. Sara was previously in venture capital and management consulting in the Bay Area as well as in a variety of strategic and operational roles in large tech companies.

Kathryn Cartini

Co-founder and Partner, Chloe Capital

Kate is a service-oriented venture capitalist, business owner and 20-year sales professional. As the co-founder and partner of VC firm Chloe Capital, Kate invests in women-led technology companies around the world. In addition to investing with a diversity and inclusion lens, Chloe Capital hosts programs in partnership with universities, corporations and foundations to catalyze capital for female founders. In addition to Chloe Capital, Kate is a Venture Partner for Republic, a crowdfunding platform that provides everyone, not just the 1%, with the opportunity to invest in innovation companies. She is also the owner of Peacock Media, a multimedia content and digital events company; international host of VC-TV, which sheds light on the biases against women in businesses; and an instructor with the National Science Foundation I-Corps program, helping innovators commercialize university research.

Barbara Clarke

Founder and President, The Impact Seat

Barbara is an investor, economist and entrepreneur who enjoys interacting with professionals who believe in creating diverse teams to drive innovation and business success. Called ‘The Force,’ she fuels change in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, stimulates growth in early stage tech startups, and boosts organizational excellence with her investment expertise and global insights. Barbara has been investing in emerging technologies, including medical devices, for almost a decade. To date, she has invested in more than 60 companies and 12 funds in North America and Europe. Barbara has been creating opportunities for under-represented entrepreneurs by investing in companies that are either led by women of color or have women on their founding teams – even before it became fashionable to do so. As a key member of the investment community, she also advises entrepreneurs and innovators on launching companies, accessing capital, and leveraging the international network of investors. Barbara serves on several boards, including Portfolia, an investment fund focused on women as venture capitalists; Founders First Capital Partners, an accelerator and finance firm that invests in a diverse group of founders; and Boost, an artificial intelligence (AI) platform using computer vision technology. 

Dr. Dana Kanze

Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, London Business School

Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a Doctor of Philosophy from Columbia Business School. Her research applies behavioural insights to understand sources of labour market inequality, spanning the areas of judgment and decisionmaking, ethics, motivation science and entrepreneurship. Dana’s work has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as the Academy of Management Journal, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, and Science Advances, as well as in practitioner outlets such as the Harvard Business Review. Her research has been featured by BBC Radio; Bloomberg; Business Insider; Chicago Booth Review; Entrepreneur; Fast Company; Forbes; Fortune, Inc.; MIT Sloan Management Review, Pitchbook, Quartz, Scientific American, TechCrunch, The Times, The Wall Street Journal; and Wharton Magazine. Accomplished as an ad hoc reviewer and TED speaker, Dana started her career as an investment banker and strategic consultant for Citigroup and Winterberry Group, going on to co-found and run a venture-funded startup before re-entering education.

Pallavi Kuppa-Apte

Chief Operating Officer, Chargehound

Pallavi is Chief Operating Officer at Chargehound, the only fully automated chargeback solution on the market. After starting her career in consulting, she moved to San Francisco to work in technology startups and soon joined the founding team at Chargehound. Since launch, she has focused on strategic and operational initiatives that have scaled the company to partner with merchants and fintechs around the globe. Pallavi is passionate about advocating for diversity in tech, and outside of work you can find her training for or running in marathons. 

Amy J. Millman

Founder, Springboard 2000 Enterprises Inc

Amy is a passionate advocate for women entrepreneurs. In 2000, she founded Springboard Enterprises to accelerate the growth of companies led by women through access to essential resources and a global community of experts. She served as President for 21 years, creating the programming, leading the organization and building a global network of investors, industry experts, influencers and innovators, all dedicated to scaling high-growth companies led by women who are transforming industries in the fields of enterprise technology and life science. During her tenure, the portfolio topped 800 companies, creating over $35 billion in value for investors, clients and customers through equity raised, IPOs and sales to strategic acquirers. Prior, she served as a lobbyist for corporate and industry groups and served as Executive Director of the National Women’s Business Council, a U.S. federal commission.

Brett Queener

Partner and Managing Director, Bonfire VC

Brett is a Partner at Bonfire Ventures. His entire career has been focused on growing software companies — fast. From 2013-2016, Brett served as COO at SmartRecruiters, where he partnered with the founder to work through the hard things about hard things” and converted a pre-revenue company into the fastest growing and highest rated enterprise player in the recruiting technology space. Prior to SmartRecruiters, Brett spent a decade at Salesforce.com where he served in a variety of senior leadership roles in sales, R&D, and operations focused on driving the company growth and expansion across market segments and product categories. Prior to Salesforce.com, Brett held senior marketing and business development at Siebel Systems (acquired by Oracle). Brett is an active seed investor and advisor to numerous software entrepreneurs and serves on the board of SmartRecruiters, Pendo, Lytics, Invoca, ClearedIn, SpekIt, Aforza, Cube, Blueprint. Other angel investments include MOAT (acquired by Oracle for $850mm), Guru, Outreach, Postie, and Bevy.

Jennifer Richard

Principal, Bonfire Ventures

Jen is a Principal at Bonfire Ventures. Prior to Bonfire, she sourced and executed seed‑stage investments at Vitalize VC and Cross Culture Ventures. Before beginning her career in venture, Jen was a founding member of three venture-backed startups and saw two of them through successful acquisitions. She has been responsible for building e-commerce platforms from the ground up and has scaled online commerce to reach over 30 countries worldwide. Her expertise revolves around technical product management, global supply chain, and (most importantly) a deep understanding of customers across a variety of verticals and geographies.

Andrew Schultheis

Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine

Andrew has over 20 years of experience advising public and private companies on a broad array of matters, including corporate, securities, mergers and acquisitions, and regulatory matters. He also counsels companies on financing transactions, including public and private equity and debt offerings, and has structured and negotiated numerous key mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures throughout his career. Andrew has represented public companies in a broad array of matters, including corporate governance, securities law compliance, general corporate matters, and analyzing and establishing adequate takeover defenses, including poison pills. He has also represented private, startup companies in a variety of matters, including incorporation and initial capitalization, shareholder and board fiduciary duties, equity plan adoption and administration, venture capital financings, secured loan facilities, and other business transactions.

Melanie VanSlavens

Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine

Melanie is a corporate and transactional attorney with a focus on the restaurant, food and beverage, and technology industries. She represents companies and investors in equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, private tender offers, corporate restructurings, and other complex strategic transactions. Melanie also regularly represents emerging and established companies—including family owned businesses—in various industries, advising them on matters such as formation, corporate governance, and general commercial matters.